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Infogr.am Ambassador Eva Constantaras helps Kenyan journalists explain lag in development in data driven way

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For four days, 14 journalists from North Rift Kenya came together for a data journalism workshop led by Internews data journalism trainers Eva Constantaras and Dorothy Otieno. They investigated how to produce more in-depth stories on health and education topics through data journalism.

We were happy to contribute free Infogr.am Pro accounts to participants who went on to produce their own data visualisations following the training. The distance from Kenya’s open data community in Nairobi makes it challenging for journalists from rural areas to produce data stories after such workshops because of access to data, trainers and editors, who provide the training, mentoring and support needed to produce data journalism.

Here are some of the outcomes:

Michael W. Odhiambo (@mowesonga), a correspondent for the Standard, explored data on education levels in his county and the constituencies within it. He found that one constituency was pulling up the average for the entire county and the rest lagged behind. He is currently looking into whether the public budget for maternal healthcare is adequate for the treatment of complications such as fistulas.

Caleb Kemboi (@drkemboi) a journalist with Thomson Reuters explored a dataset that measured basic literacy and numeracy skills among school-age children. His visualisation focuses on the lowest performing constituencies in the region. His current investigations seeks to identify the reasons behind the school drop out rate among girls in the North Rift Region.

Joshua Cheloti (@CeejayCheloti) is a radio journalist with Biblia Husema Broadcasting, a radio station in Eldoret. His visualisation identifies a correlation between hostile environments and poor performance on numeracy and literacy exams.


Cheloti is committed to human interest reporting.  He said, “Before the training I feared stories involving data, but now I enjoy such stories as I can professionally analyse the data and use it to come up with a radio story that can easily be understood by my audience.” His next investigation looks at rising cases of chronic diseases in North Rift and the funds and facilities to treat them.

Each of the 14 participants will develop one data-driven story over the next month with a special focus on simplifying numbers, understanding the source of the data and putting breaking health and education stories into context using data.  They will also participate in a follow up training to see what questions their own investigations raised and which data they can use to develop health and education beat reporting.

About Eva:

Eva Constantaras (@evaconstantaras) is the Internews Data Journalism Advisor and specialises in cross-border journalism projects to combat corruption and encourage transparency. She has managed projects and reported from across Latin America, Asia and East Africa on topics ranging from displacement and kidnapping by organised crime networks to extractive industries and election violence.  Her reporting has appeared in media outlets including El Mundo and El Confidencial in Spain and the Seattle Times and El Tiempo in the Americas.

Infogr.am Ambassador Program:

Infogr.am Ambassadors bring the power of data visualisation to journalists, activists, communication officers, university students and classroom teachers all over the world. The network is designed to enhance data literacy while also encourage the knowledge sharing between the program members. Interested to join? Ask [email protected] for more details.

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Open Steps

Open Steps

Open Steps is an independent blog aggregating worldwide information around Open Cultures in form of articles, videos and other resources. Its aim is to document Open Knowledge (OK) related projects and organisations either using Open Data, promoting Open Source technologies, launching Open Government initiatives, following the principles behind Open Science, supporting the release of information or practising Data Journalism. In this way, this site seeks to continue, this time virtually, the globetrotter project realised between July 2013 to July 2014 and discover further OK projects all around the world. Subscribe to our newsletter to be part of this amazing journey!

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